I just want to bang my head against the wall and scream when I read comments following stories like this. It's as if only Neuro, Chuck and a handful of others actually read the stories.
Photonius had a decent analysis but then pulled a conclusion out of thin air that I'm still scratching my head over.
So, the only way to get a lot of people to buy new cameras is with a substantial innovation in sensor technology.
Was that intended as sarcasm or a joke?
Something not discussed here, but having a big effect: Canon's strategy for the past several years has relied on the emerging Chinese market for much of their growth. Recent changes to the government monetary policies were cited in an earlier Canon earnings report as having a major negative impact on that market.
As Photonius did point out, DSLRs are now a mature market. There is not going to be the growth in that market that there was in the first decade of the century. It's clear Canon understands that and has taken steps to manage that leveling off (with their major push into video at all levels and with their latest emphasis on security -- which is where the growth will be for the next decade or so).
That slowdown was surely not unexpected by Canon. However, they were most likely hit by external factors beyond their control and not generally predicted – the U.S. and European economies have not rebounded as well as expected and the Chinese market is under performing.
On the upside, if you take a look at Canon's reports from two years ago or so, you'll see that the office products division was being hammered by the worldwide recession and the imaging division (cameras) was subsidizing the losses in office products. This new report indicates that the office products division has recovered and can once again make a significant contribution to the company's bottom line. That's good news for Canon and good new for photographers.